By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
With “The Many Saints of Newark: A Sopranos Story,”
screenwriter and producer David Chase
has crafted a satisfying prequel to his outstanding, award-winning HBO mob series, “The Sopranos” that became “must-see” TV during its run from 1999 to 2007.
The Many Saints of Newark: A Sopranos Story” lands in theaters and simultaneously on HBO Max on Oct. 1. The saga transports fans back to New Jersey, the stomping grounds of Tony Soprano, made famous by the late, great James Gandolfini.
“The Many Saints of Newark" is set during the 1960s and 70s and centers around an amazing cast of characters. There’s Ray Liotta—pulling double duty as the twin Moltisanti brothers--,Vera Farmiga (Livia Soprano), Jon Bernthal (Johnny Soprano), Corey Stoll (Junior Soprano), Alessandro Nivola (Richard “Dickie” Moltisanti), John Magaro (Silvio Dante), Michela De Rossi (Guiseppina Moltisanti), Leslie Odom Jr. a hustler looking for a bigger piece of the action, and a voice from beyond the grave, Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti) narrating the film. Nice touch. However, the movie hones in on a young Tony Soprano played first by William Ludwig, (“Side Hustle”) and then Gandolfini’s actual son, Michael.
It also covers a lot of ground including capturing the tumultuous Civil Rights era and the escalating tensions between African Americans and Italians. At times “The Many Saints of Newark: A Sopranos Story” feels rushed, but that’s because Chase and co-writer Lawrence Konner (“Roots” miniseries) have so much to say and director Alan Taylor’s (TV’s “Game of Thrones”) attention to detail bring it all to life. Consequently, fans will discover several golden references to the TV show.
I could tell you the ins and outs of the movie, but that would be a cardinal sin and ultimately spoil all the goods. So, fuhgeddaboudit.
Honestly, the characters in “The Many Saints of Newark: A Sopranos Story” are so rich and complex that this could have easily been a miniseries rather than a just a two-hour movie. Then again, I suppose if it were any longer, it would be called “The Irishman.”
Nevertheless, “The Many Saints of Newark: A Sopranos Story” is a fascinating watch.
Be sure to catch my N2Entertainment.net movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays at 6:20 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.
Watch This Trailer For "THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.